La Coquille















Information Bulletin for Safari Condo Owners Vol. 7 Number 3, December 2005

Translated by Yvan Dumontier




A Bit of Therapy


By Louise Genest and Jean Therrien


After a summer travelling back and forth across ours and neighbouring provinces, experiencing our road network, I said to myself: “Wouldn’t it feel good to share my fits of impatience with fellow Condists?” Who has never had harsh words for the driver, or the navigator?


Pressure can really build up at times! Do I remember crossing over to Detroit: this was our first experience crossing the border with our Safari Condo. I was stressed out and many horror stories about border crossings came to mind. On waking, we went through a police control before an unthinkably cold welcome by a Customs Inspector. When crossing the border, I asked my partner to find a place to stop so I could boot my computer containing maps and a GPS system. For fear of being seen as a terrorist by Customs!


We’re here in a trucker’s world. There are as many trucks as there are cars. Between two trucks, we managed to see a highway exit. We stop downtown, I boot the computer, enter our position and ask directions, and here we go again: turn left then right, sometimes I use the term “the other right” when the flasher is for the wrong side then straight ahead while looking at our itinerary on the laptop… “Right or left?” he says. What do you mean, right or left! I look up, check our options, look back at the map to reply, and Oops! Too late, he took the right instead of the left! We quickly find where we are: “Ok, stay on X street and turn right”. Back to the laptop, which shows : “Detour !” Both of us look for detour arrows, street names: between two glances, I hurry to ask my laptop for help. Have you noticed that they seem to forget or misplace any “damn” arrow pointing back to the road!


Well ok, we think we’re back on track to leave town when we notice a last minute exit indication when, of course, there is a car in the lane to the exit. We’re in a un cul-de-sac. We look at one another, speechless: tension is at its peak. I silently take a deep breath. We turn back. We try to take the first street, but it’s one-way, the second is under construction. We take the third, cross under the highway, and there is no highway entrance. And on and on! “It doesn’t matter, that way we can see the city!” I clumsily add in an effort to release some of the pressure. If eyes could kill!!! What really happens is, after all these turns, one way and then the other, we end up where we were 15 minutes ago. Oh! la! la! Something’s wrong! We look at one another and…I burst out laughing, till I cried. Such a side-splitting situation! It’s his turn to burst out in laughter… and finally the tension disappears.  


This made me realise that the GPS purchased for this trip has its limitations and the maps included with the software do not show every small street under construction nor every closed or new streets; there are even buildings in some streets.


Even with today’s great technology, however superb, laughter and harsh words can be the best medicine to relieve tension.


I’m sorry… You were right…and I do love you!


The Great 2006 Rivière-du-Loup Get-Together

By Michèle


Our eighth get-together…already! Year after year, the Safari Condo family is still as simple and heart-warming as in the beginning. In fact, this great get-together is more than ever an opportunity to share friendships, experiences and discover a new region in Quebec. In June 2006, the Leclercs expect many to regroup at the Camping du Quai in Rivière-du-Loup. With your hosts, you will discover a region where history is written all over the colourful façades of old homes, where you can hunt whales (with your camera) or simply loll by the St-Lawrence. This year, some things will change. From the outset, the hosts would organise just about everything and many weekend activities were included in the registration fees. In order to attract as many Condists as possible to this event, and to keep expenses to a minimum, registration this year will include 3 nights, the festival tent and the usual Saturday evening dinner. As for the rest of the weekend, the program is up to you. On arrival, you will receive a complete regional guide listing all available activities. Rivière-du-Loup is home to the ”Petit Témis” Biking Trail, the St-Lawrence for kayaking, a park to relax that’s minutes from downtown in a region where dining with friends can be quite an experience. Just for you, I have drawn up a list of groceries that’s both thought provoking and cunning. Fill your fridge with the aroma of local specialties to accompany Saturday evening’s bison méchoui.


Aside from the dinner, we will have our Mad Scientist Competition for those of you quick on the (drill) trigger. Had a great idea for your Safari Condo? Share it for the benefit of all the Condist family. In addition, two presentations will take place under the festival tent: Europe in a Safari Condo with Mr. and Mrs. Gaétan Boucher, and Daniel’s regular Advice and Assistance intended for novice and experienced Condists alike. Those of you who know Daniel are eager to learn about his brainwaves, inventions and new technology. The Condo-Boutique will be open each morning and our Odd Job Squad will again be on hand for small problem solving. For specific adjustments or repairs, call our St-Frédéric plant beforehand for an appointment. This is important since no repairs will be made without an appointment.


In 2005, 166 crews showed up for the Shawinigan get-together organised by Denis, Michel and Roger. We had to turn down 20 crews for lack of room. Make your reservations early!! Registration here ! J More in the next Coquille.


Lastly, to receive your official Bas-Saint-Laurent Tourist Guide ahead of time through the mail and plan your week-end in the comfort of your home, here is how to order :


By Phone :  (514) 873-2015 or 1-877-266-5687


By Mail :                Tourisme Québec,

C.P. 979, Montréal, (Québec)

H3C 2W3


Web Site :


Groceries List

For the Great 2006 Rivière-du-Loup Get-Together

By Michèle


What if, instead of Highway 20, you took the time to stroll and fill up your fridge on the way to Rivière-du-Loup. Along old highway 132, one can observe the portly St-Lawrence, appreciate old homes, and simply stopover whenever you feel like it to fill up your Safari Condo with local fine-foods. Humm mm, good !


Here is an eastward circuit :


La Pocatière :

Le marché des Caburons, 496, route 132. Local products from la Côte-du-sud. Baked goods, dairy bar, fine chocolates, delicate pastries and local wines and liqueurs. Open: Monday to Wednesday, 9h30 à 17h30. Thursday and Friday 9h30 to 21h00. Saturday, 9h30 to 17h00. Sunday, 12h00 to 17h00.


Fromagerie Le Mouton blanc : 176, route 230 Ouest.Taste these unique cheeses from the region of the setting sun and appreciate le vrai goût de Kamouraska. Open: Monday to Saturday, 13h00 to 18h00.


Kamouraska :

La Fée Gourmande, 167, ave Morel. Assorted fine chocolates produced from pure cocoa butter in true European chocolate makers tradition. To go, or in the garden all summer, otherwise in the tea parlour. Espresso, rare coffees, loose tea from around the world, hot chocolate. Open : Easter to June 23rd, Thursday to Sunday, 11h00 à 17h00.


Boulangerie Niemand, 82, ave Morel. A variety of breads made fresh daily, cookies and « viennoiseries ». Open : Mid-April to June 23rd, Thursday to Sunday, 09h00 à 18h00.


Poissonnerie Lauzier, 57, ave Morel. A variety of fish and seafood, fresh, marinated or smoked the old-fashioned way. Open : April 1st to October 15, daily 10h00 to 18h00.


Pêcheries Ouellet, 38A, ave Morel. Traditional kiln, fine sea products. Famous smoked products: sturgeon, eel, salmon, scallops, shrimps, mussels and trout. Open : May to October, daily 09h00 to 18h00.


Magasin général de Kamouraska, 69, ave Morel. Counters chock-full of fine products : truly an invitation to greediness. Open : Early June to end of October, daily 09h00 to 19h00.



Brasserie Breughel, 68, route 132.  La Kamour a “Blanche” beer on lees brewed according to European tradition. Full of aromatic alcohols from in-bottle refermentation using “méthode champenoise”. Raspberry, cherry, dark, amber, etc. Open : May 1st to Labour Day, daily 10h00 to sunset.



La Boucanerie, 111, rue Principale. Large selection of fresh fish, seafood, fine foods and marinated sea products. Have a taste of our famous chowder. Open : Daily 08h00 to 19h00.



Vin artisanal Le Pacômois, La framboisière des 3, 19, rue du Domaine. Large selection of alcoholic beverages from raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. Open : Daily 09h30 to 17h30.


Celebration in Gros Cap

By Camil


«Voulez-vous des zéplans?» On the last day of a two-week stay in Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Gros Cap had something to celebrate. By Thursday evening, the campsite was being filled up. No more sites by Friday noon: in early September, the “Madelinots” take back their island when the tourists leave.


For us, three Safari Condo crews, this was a last chance to party with the locals. Celebrations kicked off Friday at sunset with a bar hop all over Gros Cap. In the overcrowded backs of pickups, “cadres de truck” as they say, partygoers went singing and yelling and making a racket with pots and pans. People stood on their balconies to salute the spirited motorcade parading the streets.


For the tenth anniversary of Gros Cap Township, an important week-end activity started on Saturday: the “boule” tournament. Eleven teams composed of eleven players, including children, dads and moms had already registered at the outset. “Boule” is a mixture of baseball and slow pitch, played with a red white and blue ball and local rules such that as many as five players can end up on the first of four bases!


In the meantime, others were practising for the talent show coming up in the evening. And others, seated before a cove or a delightful panorama, finalised their freehand sketch before completing their paintings for tomorrow’s great “barbouill’Art” where their works of art will go up for bids.


And everyone was happy to be in such a party mood. «Voulez-vous des éperlans?» Simply an offer one can’t refuse, coming from madame et monsieur Jomphe!   Our Sunday meal, appealing though it was, was the first step on the way back to earth.


Winter’s Dare!

By Michèle


For many years, Daniel and I have been fans of winter camping. We once spent the night before Christmas in our Safari Condo, Daniel in a suit and tie, and me wearing an evening gown, with an unobstructed view of the ramparts of Quebec and the Chateu Frontenac. Each year, between Christmas and New Year’s, we travel to Baie St-Paul, to visit the art galleries, enjoy a good meal and take an evening walk under the bright Christmas lights on Rue Principale. Daniel is also fond of snowmobiling north of Latuque, or in Monts-Valin. These outings are really for men. I willingly pass on -40ºC and masculine hardships, but I would never miss out on our weekend to Baie des Ha!Ha! No matter what the weather is like, I shovel my  patio, put down some chairs and just breathe in the Saguenay’s arctic air all weekend!

I dare you to try a winter outing! For example, enjoy the soft comfort of your Safari Condo when visiting relatives on Christmas Eve. You won’t have to sleep on the air mattress laid out on the floor, with children up at six to try out their new toys: this may suffice for a lot of Condists. It is also a slow introduction to camping in winter: with power supply on hand, access to a hot shower, and if ever you’re sorry a house ready to accommodate you. Just look at them when you tell them that you will sleep outside! (The most difficult part is not to settle down in your Safari Condo for the night, but to convince them that all you need is on hand.) This year, Daniel and I plan a winter trek to Boston. And on the way back, fulfill a teenage dream shared by Daniel and I: see Old Orchard Beach in winter, without the crowd, without the noise, just the sea and the snow. It will be, I’m sure just like in Gilbert Bécaud’s song: “And the beach is like a tummy untouched by human hands. “


In the same vein, we are informally setting up a winter camping weekend for February. As places are limited, make your reservations right away if interested. There are only a few spots available! Information as follows:


A Winter Experience


Dates : February 17, 18 and 19 2006.

Where : Camping polaire, St-Léonard de Portneuf

Cost : 100,00$ for a crew of 2.

Package includes :

·         2 nights camping with electricity, hot showers, toilets, sink and hair dryer (Friday and Saturday nights),

·         1 meal, table d’hôte for 2 Saturday evening, in the Boreal Shelter,

·         A 90-minute after-dinner torch-light snowshoe hike, a camp fire under the stars and hot chocolate.

·         Breakfast on Sunday morning.

Places Available: 20 crews

On-site Activities :

·         Cross-country skiing (20 km of groomed trails),

·         Snowshoeing (groomed trail)

·         Skating (rink five minutes away),

·         Snowmobiling (provincial trail).

Closing Date : end of December 2005.

Reservations : call Michèle at 418-253-5888, and in case of an answering machine, leave your coordinates.



By Daniel who wishes you a Merry Christmas!


Gasoline Heating


If your vehicle has a gasoline heater and you plan to use it in the winter, it is important to check:

1.       That the gas outlet is not obstructed by ice or snow. In such a case, the heater will not work.

2.       That the CO detector is in good working order.


Important Advice for Electric Roofs


We have improved the electric roof in 2006. We will retrofit free of charge any vehicle that shows up at the plant for maintenance. From now on, when you schedule an appointment at the plant, simply inform Frédéric that you have an electric roof that has not yet been retrofitted. We will keep a log of all retrofitted vehicles


This change applies to the front slides on the electric roof. A Velcro strip (loop part) that had been placed to reduce any friction between 2 surfaces tends to unglue when heated. This can affect operation of the electric roof. There are no drawbacks to using a roof that has not been modified. However, it is important that your check for any glue deposit or residue on the forward stainless steel corners of the electric roof. In that case, until you come to the plant, you can carry out this simple maintenance yourself in the meantime:


1.       Using a solvent such as Varsol or Thinner, carefully clean off any glue.

2.       Coat both corners with Petroleum Jelly.        


Even if there is no visible glue residue on the forward stainless steel corners of the electric roof, you may also carry this out as preventative maintenance. Once retrofitted, such maintenance will no longer be required.


Well Insured at the Right Price


I have noticed two things about insurance for our Safari Condo: sometimes the vehicle is not adequately insured and some pay too high a premium. We have seen insurance companies that do not specialise in RVs unknowingly providing coverage for the vehicle, but not for the conversion. What is worse is that the insured is convinced of a good deal based on a reasonable premium, but that may not be the case. In fact, in the case of an accident, it may quickly turn into a nightmare. As for the premiums, shop around! Remember that companies that do not specialise in this type of vehicle will charge you more for less coverage. In Quebec, two companies specialise in RV insurance: Assur-Experts and Aviva Elite. Eighty percent of the Safari Condos on the road are insured with Assur-Experts. They offer complete protection at the best price for Class B vehicles. The RV program may not be available from all offices of Assur-Experts. Many of our clients are insured with the Beauce office of Assur-Experts, since they are well aware of our products. Making a few calls may save you not only $$$ but lots of trouble.


The Beauce office :
256 Principale, Vallée-Jonction
G0S 3J0
Phone. 418-253-5413
Fax. 418-253-5155
Ask for Marc.


New in 2006


A New Diesel Engine


An brand-new diesel engine is now available on 18’ 2 500 and 20’ 3 500. True, GM now offers for Savana/Express Cargo an even more cost-efficient version of its well-known Duramax 6,6L Turbo Diesel. The latter has been in GM Pick-ups for a number of years already. The Cargo version, more cost-efficient, differs from the Pick-up version required for heavier loads. Mind you, haulage capacity will reach 9 000 Lb. To date, this is our most powerful and economical vehicle. At this time, we have two such vehicles on the road, mine and Benoît’s, and we are tracking fuel consumption. After a 5 000 km bedding-in period, we have managed 25 mpg (11,3L/100km) at 108 km/h at 4ºC. A gasoline-powered vehicle at the same temperature would average 20 mpg. We would conceivably reach 26 mpg (10,87L/100Km) at 110 km/h in summer highway driving conditions. Moreover, on a recent trip to Monts-Valin north of Chicoutimi, with a van semi-trailer and two snowmobiles, in -7 ºC at 105 km/h, I managed 17,28 mpg (16,35L/100km) with my LX. Last year, using the same vehicle with a gasoline engine, I averaged 12,8 mpg. Note that the price of the vehicle alone with a diesel engine is 8 000 $ lower than a Dodge Sprint with similar fuel economy but much more power. The Duramax develops 250 hp with a 460 lb torque compared to 154 hp with 243 lb torque for the Sprinter.

The Largest Fridge in any Class B


Our LX 2006 now coms with a 7 cubic foot fridge : It is by far the largest fridge ever to be found in any Class B. No longer will you to drink warm beer to save the lettuce!


For Fuel Consumption Nerds


On our web site, you will find a short program developed to calculate fuel consumption. You can upload it to your computer. It is simple to use and all the information lies on a single page. I am happy to share it with you all.




Mr. and Mrs. Fernand Julien would appreciate travelling to in the company of another Safari Condo. They plan to leave in January. Get in touch at :

[email protected] or (819) 373-2262.


Hi. Attention Condists interested in a trip to Mexico this winter. This will be our second experience camping safely, despite conflicting evidence, in this wonderful country, We leave January 8 2006; Anyone interested in this experience can start by e-mail us. One can use organised campgrounds or, using the required  precautionary measures, camp in the wild. We intend to spend between 6 and 8 weeks in Mexico. Nicole et Luc.

[email protected]



We hereby invite you to our annual Exhibition entitled “Au fil des saisons” at Place de la Cité, in Québec City, where the English bookstore used to be. Access via the ground floor between New Look and Banque Nationale. We will be happy to greet you from the 6th to the 24th of December 2005.


Pierre Leclerc (Artist and Condist)


2005 Picture Contest


What energy! What passion!  We received in excess of 150 entries and once again our judges had the difficult task of sorting out the three winning pictures.


Cheers for our winners and thanks to all of you for participating in such numbers. Most pictures will end up on our web site in the “condist” corner. Many are in our 2006 Calendar. Let me give a special salute to Stéphane who looks after the Picture Contest and the Calendar setup. Lots of (volunteer) work  for a guy who is already very busy. Thanks Steph! J Our winners all earn condo-dollars, redeemable at our plant or at the Condo-boutique. Those who have sent in their pictures after the deadline, don’t despair, we will keep them until next year.


1st Prize: Mme Rolande Pilote, 100$, January (Mme Pilote, please get in touch with us!)

2nd Prize: Lucille Binette and Michel J. Desnoyers, 75$, February

3rd Prize: Louise Lanthier and Pierre Boivin, 50$, March.